The Many Ironies of a “Modest Swimwear” Advertisement
January 5, 2012 - 9:44 am
I’m not a fan of extremely revealing or tight clothing. Even in my younger days, when I could get away with it, it wasn’t my style. There’s something to be said for a little mystery and a lot of class. Nevertheless, an ad for “modest swimwear” managed to make my eyeballs pop a little:
The first funny thing to strike me is the fact that, thanks to the way computer algorithms process words, an ad for full coverage swimwear — something aimed primarily at the Muslim market — ended up on a Commentary Magazine blog post that talks about the repression that too often goes with mandatory hijabs in Muslim countries.
The second funny thing is that the models used are remarkably non-Muslim looking. And yes, I know that “Muslim” is not a racial classification, but demographically it trends towards non-blondes. These models, however, look as if they come from the little known Northern European Muslim demographic.
And the third funny thing is that the ad company went overboard with Photoshopping to make the models skinny. The women in the black suit has a right arm so skeletal she looks mortally ill, while the woman in the maroon suit has stick thighs and a bizarrely large head. We know that this type of digitized airbrushing is routinely done with models stripped down to their skivvies, but there’s something ludicrous about seeing the same tactic applied to models wearing clothes that could comfortably have appeared in a Victorian fashion magazine: